500

Way back in July of 2008 I decided to take the plunge and start blogging. I created a name, did some minor layout changes and BOOM had a blog. I had no idea what I was going to blog about {I was entering my final year of photography school and, let’s be honest, still very much a newbie}. I was all about Photoshop actions and filters, crazy camera tilts…yikes. It’s pretty awesome.

In June of 2010 I updated my blogging platform to this particular ProPhoto layout. The look has changed a bit over the years; the content has matured, the images have slowly but progressive gotten better…and I’ve come to calling this place my photography journal. Friends and strangers check in on me here time to time as I share about the business, my travels and my life. It’s truly just amazing for me to have this teeny little corner of the interwebs to call my own.

And today, oh glorious wonderful today marks my 500th post on this blog. Seriously–isn’t that nuts! That means that over the past nearly-four years, I have logged in 500 times. I have sat down for some Qwerty action and words have strung together to form sentences. I’ve shared, celebrated, complained and have been in complete awe on this blog. I appreciate you coming by and am looking forward to the next 500 posts!

Also, I’d like to throw a shout out to one beautiful little girl and one fantastically crazy woman today.

:-)

Miss MiaRae Elizabeth ~ Auntie loves you so, so much…your enchanting smile brightens up anyone’s day. I love your painful-shyness and the heart-melting way you lovingly curl up in my lap. Happy 3rd birthday, sweet girl!

And to my awesome Nans…though you no longer sport the red hair, my friends still pick you out by your gold shoes. Your zest for life and devotion to family has inspired me for years. I hope you have a wonderful birthday celebrating all your young years-here’s to many, many more.

And a very big thanks to all who have supported me through these crazy years of starting a business!! It’s been a nonsensically-wonderful ride and I appreciate all the kind words, tips, high fives, support, love, connections and friendship we’ve shared over these years.

Here’s to the next 500!!

TD - April 16, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Congrats on the first 500! It’s been so much fun watching you master the camera, catch incredible moments of life and mature into an absolutely thoroughly beautiful woman. We’ll done! Cannot wait to see what’s next! Love you

You are a gift! - April 16, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Wish I could make this thing give you a hug and tell you how crazy proud I am of you, my stupendous niece. Perfect way to toast 500!!

Evie - April 16, 2014 - 12:15 pm

It has been a treat to read your blogs and look at your beautiful pictures. You never disappoint on either front!

Megan & Tom :: Married

I’ve been sitting on this wedding, keeping its beauty all to myself…but my mother taught me that it was always nicer to share, so…

;-)

Megan and Tom’s wedding day was nothing short of what every wedding should be. Sunny skies, a gorgeous and happy bride, a dashing and cheerful groom, a wicked fun wedding party and so much unadulterated love and affection from their friends and family as all their planning and hard work came to fruition. The only obstacles of the day were the ferocious winds and high temperatures, but they had nothing on the blissfully elated couple. They smiled through photographs, laughed and shed happy tears throughout the ceremony, cheered during dinner and speeches and felt the absolute, ever-present warmth of love as they began their life together to the thunderous applause of the fireworks overhead.

Megan Edstrom - April 15, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Teared up looking at these! Amazing work along with a beautiful couple!! :)

Calie - April 12, 2014 - 10:39 am

Amazing wedding!

Brady :: 1 year

Aaaahhhhhhhhhaaaaa….big stretch. Insert sleepy yawn and loud chugging of coffee.

Back home again and reminiscing about our Californian adventures…we left Oceanside yesterday morning at 5:13am and I walked into my house last night at 5:47pm. Crazy how sitting in a car/plane/airport/plane/truck can take so much out of a person.;-)Anywho, no worries-I’ll recap some of my favorite travel adventures soon!

Getting back in the swing of things is always my favorite part about a trip. Intentions and energy are running at all-time highs and I’m ready to be so, so productive after a few leisure days. It’s fantastic!

Another thing that gets my rusty gears going is photographing returning clients. Watching a family grow, celebrating milestones and getting to know clients as friends is just so super awesome…Brady turned one in the midst of this bitter winter and I was so stoked when his mother called me to set up a milestone cake-smash session. And check out these beautiful brown eyes…such a sweetheart!!

Chelsea & Sean :: Married

I missed posting on ‘wedding Friday’ due mostly in part to the fact that I am working out of the office this week…but who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful wedding post on a Sunday? Grab your steaming cup of coffee, shuffle your slippers toward the sunshine and enjoy a glimpse of Chelsea and Sean’s stunning wedding day…

Wildflowers Workshop

Hi friends! Can you believe I’m writing this from sunny, warm California?! Yay for surprise trips and winter getaways!! I hope the Midwest is thoroughly enjoying the snow-dump age we’re slated to receive today…we’ll be soaking up the sunshine over here…follow me on Instagram to see more images of the trip!

It’s no secret that I love to travel. While summers and falls in the upper Midwest are full of sessions, weddings, late nights in front of the computer and an impossible to-do list. Winters and this spring, however, are open for reflection, trips, learning excursions and reasons to get away.

While Mr. Nick and I were on our road trip last spring, I came to realization that I lacked some quality reading material to help pass the hours roaming the beautiful countryside. Generally, road trips leave me sleepy and rendered a useless companion, but for whatever reason on that particular trip, I couldn’t sleep. Plus, I yearned for inspiration and something fun to get my gears grinding about summertime and all things lovely. I craved something to get me through the end of winter and carry over to summertime planning and creativeness. That and I think the fellow was tiring of my road tripping games.

I’m not exactly sure how I got there, but I came across a few blogs that I immediately related to and BAM, I was instantly hooked. Sometimes it’s tricky to latch onto a blog…for me, it’s got to be a perfect storm of an interesting writing style, flowing content, quality images and a user-friendly yet pretty layout. That, and they need to post frequently. I mean, a girls gotta get her fix, right?! Out of the many blogs that I tried to get attached to, I really feel head over heels for four: one baker, one creative clothing stylist, a beautifully fun DIY sister team and one simply amazing photographer.

It’s a known saying in the photography business that in order to continue your own unique style and business model, you shouldn’t follow other photographers work. As in; don’t follow other photographers. At. All. Facebook, Instagram, blogs, websites…no no. It’s depressing, stressful, time-consuming and, ultimately, ridiculous. Everyone has their own vision…might as well use the one God gave you, right?

Anywho, I found Wildflowers Photography website and was instantly drawn in by Joy’s beautiful family and unique blog layout. From there…her words. After that…the images. Oh, her wonderful, beautiful images. It was like wrapping myself in big fluffy pancakes and taking a bath in sugary maple syrup deliciousness to my soul. Seriously.

In the months that followed our 2013 road trip and my newly found invisible interweb friends, I tracked Joy’s unbelievable journey in a handpainted vintage trailer with her husband and four children across the countryside. Her images spoke to my heart and her words weaved beautiful patterns around my heartstrings. I knew I had to attend one of her workshops; the only question was when?

Free time in the summer for a wedding photographer in Minnesota is essentially non-existent. I knew I’d have to be patient and wait until the timing was right before I could proceed with anything. Then, as I was planning out my Christmas schedule trying to remember how to relax after an intensely busy fall, I saw a post on Instagram that Joy was offering a workshop at her home in February. There was my chance; I immediately reserved my seat.

In the days leading up to the workshop, I got to know the other ladies through a Facebook group set up just for us. It seemed as though we were coming from all walks of life with varying degrees of experience, knowledge and ages, but one thing was absolute: we were all undeniably excited for this opportunity to network, learn, share, shoot and just BE together.

I’m not going to go into all the details of what I experienced in those two amazing days in Northern Washington except to say that I was not disappointed. Not only did Joy’s hospitality and kindness blow me away (as well as her sweet, sweet family!!), but the ladies I had the pleasure of finally meeting in person are now most certainly my friends. The quilts, the coziness, the open vulnerability, the photography, the food, the stories…oh, the stories!!…the laughter, the sharing and willingness to check the ego at the door and create a place of comfort, empathy, inspiration, trust and soul-searching…it was exactly what I was looking for. And what I needed.

And what I got.

The one who sits in contemplation - April 7, 2014 - 8:14 am

Lovely lovely post! I felt as though I read through your beautiful words and gorgeous pictures of an even more poignant and life altering journey.

Brittany Chandler - April 4, 2014 - 1:16 pm

WOWOWOWOW! Your shots are stunning! I love seeing the workshop through your eyes :) your black and white conversions are to die for, and the shot of Gracie looking over her shoulder gave me chills. LOVE!

Amy Prange - April 3, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Love all the beautiful pictures!! And like my sister Keri, I too am shocked you survived that close to all those beautiful chickens!! Great job on all the wonderful pictures!!

Mara - April 3, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Ok, you have me crying all over again over here! Beyond beautiful my friend! You have talent for days and you most assuredly should be offering workshops of your own and I’ll her the first one signing up! Love it all!!

Keri Armendariz - April 3, 2014 - 10:58 am

Looking at these all I could do is laugh….and laugh loud and the thought of you having to photograph that close to ALL those CHICKENS!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!